Groups Condemn Spanish FOI Implementation Proposal

15 July 2015

A draft regulation to implement Spain’s freedom of information law came under sharp criticism July 13 from Access Info Europe and the 65-member Coalición Pro Acceso.

A press release called the proposed regulation “a deliberate attempt by the government to further limit an already weak law and have called for it to be redrafted with urgency.”

“Particularly egregious features of the Regulation include inverting the public interest test so that the balance tips in favour of secrecy, and reducing further the kinds of information that can be requested,” according to the groups, who said government held a “poorly-publicised consultation on the draft.”

The groups objected to the exclusion of Committee of Ministers’ (Cabinet) deliberations by reference to a 1997 law, and “subjugating the transparency law to any other specific law that limits access.”

“The Regulation also closes the door on the possibility of making requests by email or post, permitting requests only via the transparency portal or in person,” the release says, continuing, “Currently requests can only be submitted by the few Spanish citizens and residents with an electronic ID or special access code that is hard to obtain.”

Lack of clarity and bad draftsmanship are also criticized in a submission by the groups. The full submission (in Spanish) is available in Word and PDF.

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